Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. New York Jets (4-3 SU, 4-2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 1:00PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JAC +7.5/NYJ -7.5
Over/Under Total: 42
On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars come into East Rutherford to face the New York Jets. The Jaguars got a bye last week, following a nice win over the Buffalo Bills in London two Sundays ago. They look to beat another AFC East team this weekend in the Jets, who have made some strides this season. But the Jets have lost two straight after a promising 4-1 start to the season and look to get their season on the right track this Sunday. Last Sunday, they lost on the road to the Oakland Raiders, 34-20.
The Jets had some injury issues stemming from last weeks loss in Oakland. Their quarterbacks kept going downfirst Ryan Fitzpatrick and then Geno Smith. Look for Fitzpatrick to start, as he is listed as probable with a hurt thumb on his non-throwing hand. But others are hurt, as well, including their top receiver Brandon Marshall, who is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Most of their high draft picks from the past few years are out, including a really good safety in Calvin Pryor. So as the Jets look to get their season back on track, they will need to do so without some key guys and with the stars on their offense hurting.
Even as theyre coming off the bye, the Jaguars are still banged up, with top receiver Allen Hurns, G Zane Beadles and TE Julius Thomas listed as questionable. Their win over Buffalo in London showed that they havent given up, despite their postseason viability being bleak. They continue to strive for bigger things, as they build for the future. A lot of bad teams are so discouraged about their predicament that they lose sight of the idea of creating something for the future. The Jags certainly have a ton of issues preventing them from being a consistent good team. But at least theyre still trying hard.
The Jaguars are forging a nice aerial attack, something that would have even more bite without the injuries, namely to Hurns and Thomas, who hasnt been able to play much this season. Blake Bortles has made some strides in his second season, with a 15 to 8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Running back TJ Yeldon, trying to find his NFL legs in his first season, is coming off a 115-yard showing and if he could consistently produce, it would give this offense a huge boost. But their passing game is young and rising, with Hurns, Allen Robinson, and others. They are averaging 21 points per game, which is good for 22nd in the leaguesmall progress, but progress nonetheless.
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The Jacksonville defense hasnt quite made the same strides as the offense has. In giving up 29.6 points per game, they are 31st in the league. But if you take away the 51 points scored by New England and the 38 scored by Tampa, theyve been fairly respectable. They wont be facing the most electric offense this week and if they can keep the Jets in check to some degree, they should have a shot to win this game.
The Jaguars are still what you could call a bad team. After all, they are 2-5. But they are something less than the utter laughingstock that theyve been in recent years. The offense has some talent. Its not a team that you can count on beating anymore, even on the road, where theyve been respectable this season in most spots.
The Jets really need this one. When starting a season 4-1, ending up at 4-4 at the midway point would be a kick in the teeth. The reasons for the Jets slippage over the past few weeks is easy enoughan offense that has been grounded, along with a defense that has abandoned some of its fine form from the early season. RB Chris Ivory has been slowed the past two weeks, while the entire offense looks off-key.
But lets give the Jets some benefit of the doubt. Their two losses came on the road. The first one was at New England, where they actually managed to carry a 4th quarter lead against a team that has been killing everybody. And losing to the Raiders is not like losing to the Raiders before, as Oakland has really improved this season. Neither game was all that competitive, however, and make no mistakethe Jets need good things to start happening now,
The Jaguars will need to contend with a Jets defense that is still ranked third despite their struggles of the past few weeks. No defense is better against the run this season than the Jets, who are giving up a scant 78 yards per game. Theyre giving up under 20 points on average still, even after giving up 64 points in their last two games. Early in the season, this defense was the best playmaking D in the league and if the Jets are to make a surge, they will need to see that side of the ball find its fire again.
I like the Jets to win this game, but the point spread makes it so a bet on the Jets requires them to win somewhat conclusively, by better than a TD. In other words, the offense will need to produce. And with Fitzpatrick banged up, Ivory slowed down, Marshall not being at full-power, that could be asking for a lot. Look for a rested Jags team to acquit themselves well, hanging in there sufficiently to cover the spread.
Scotts Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars plus 7.5 points.
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